Six months later.

The First 6 Months.

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HELLO MUM (the only person who occasionally reads my blog). Rosie had sucked away my creativeness and stuffed it in her big chubby cheeks but IM BAAACK.  

So, the other day, I was doing a mums and bubs exercise class. I looked around and thought “what the hell is this life?” I used to be a cool, beach babe but now I literally have a camel toe and a 7 kilo baby strapped to my chest while doing the grapevine to Vengaboys. A part of me was whispering ‘you’re too cool for this shit, leave my friend, walk out and get your hair done’ but I then shushed my ego, let go of my reservations and somewhat shook my booty and in a nutshell that’s pretty much my perspective on the first 6 months of parenting.

Before Rosie, I would roll my eyes at mother’s posts “I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since you became earth-side, where has the time gone” well shit Sharon I can believe it, you’ve shared a photo of your kid twice a day for 182 days and to be completely honest I’m not sure I know what earth-side means. But it really is true, I am now a ‘Sharon’ and I shouldn’t have rolled my eyes. Time indescribably flies with babies and I am well aware these days will be the ones I will forever wish back.

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The last 6 months I have felt more myself than ever before. Bear has taught me a lot about perspective, a lot about friendships and a lot about time. I delayed having a baby because I assumed it would mean my ‘life’ would be over, yet as cliché as it sounds I am going to hit it, MY LIFE HAS JUST BEGUN (hell yeah there’s a tattoo waiting to be inked on the bottom of my spine). 

There are days where I go to brunch with a nice coral lippy, a bouncy blow dried head, flossed teeth and have matched my bag to Rosie’s headband. But other days I get a glimpse of my armpit and wonder when I became such an active feminist. Recently at baby sensory somebody asked me how old my daughter was, and I literally didn’t answer. Possibly the morning after a rough night but the truth is I’m still struggling to believe I am a real life mum (a rude one at that, sorry for the lack of response Claire, Rosie is 6 months). It was the first time someone referred to her as my ‘daughter’ and I dismissed it, assuming she was talking to an actual ‘mature-type’ adult- not a (former) beach babe.

So yeah, I have my moments and am still trying to figure out the stuff I thought all mums knew… like how to fold the fitted sheets neatly, have crisp white clothes and understand stamp duty but to be frank, this right here, right now is the best I have ever felt. Rosie has the most contagious energy and it’s hard to feel anything but grateful when she is around. She has made my relationship with Pat stronger, given me appreciation for my own mum and showcased how bad it can be to miss bin day. I am just going to continue to take each day as it comes, some I will nail and others I won’t, and if I could give a piece of advice to myself this time last year, it’d be something like ”‘you’ll be right darl and yes Kylie Jenner is pregnant”

Cheers to 6 months Rosie Bear, you truly are nothing but pure sunshine. Thank you for a wonderful introduction into motherhood my girl, you will always be my heart and soul.

Ok FAQs

Rosie’s Routine:

I am pretty reluctant to ever answer these questions as it’s the blind leading the blind but here goes; I try to remain flexible and generally I have 3 daily rules.

1.     7:00 wake up

2.     Outside walk

3.     Read 3 books.

 

In a nutshell our day looks like this: 

7:30am Up. Feed, Dress. Brekky, blast music and shake booty while the kettle boils, Walk (if weather permits)

8:45am Rosie cat naps for about 45mins

9:30am Feed, change, outing, whether it’s a play date, the shops, baby activity whatever.

11:30am Home and Rosie has her big nap and I try to reply to emails, clean the house, throw Atti’s rope

2:00pm Feed, change, play, read, outing

4:00pm Rosie will have another cat nap for about an hour

5:00pm Feed, change, PLAY, dinner

7:00pm Bath/massage

7:30pm Feed, change, bed

3:00am Sometimes she’ll wake for a feed sometimes she sleeps through.

5:00am Feed back to bed until 7:30

Please- rest assured it doesn’t always run like this.. somedays I don’t even shower.

Hospital bag:

I get asked this all the time, I never opened my bag- we were in and out but I was given a list from the hospital and I followed that.

Newborn Essentials:

*disclaimer * the only essential a newborn needs is love- the other stuff is just sprinkles on a sundae to make things easier.. these sprinkles have all been linked :)

Breast Pumps: I am really happy with my double MAMMA breast pump, it’s quiet and simple and lovely. I also have the Haakaa hand pump which catches the let down from the boob the baby isn’t feeding from- I have found this helpful and much less disheartening than filling breast pads with liquid gold.

Pram: I have the Redsbaby Jive, which I am also loving. It is compact, light and is easy to manoeuvre.  It’s made for Australian conditions and goes alright on most surfaces. Over the Christmas shopping hustle, I managed to only hit the one mans heels while browsing in the Bodyshop – a shop clearly made for ants.

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Snuggle me organic lounger- this one may have you folk divided. I always supervise her when using it, and she has never slept overnight in it as doesn’t align with SIDs guidelines. Yet, I found it to be helpful especially in the early days when I was learning how to juggle it all, I could put her in there and knew it would feel like a relaxing hug. They sleep so much at first, and she seemed to find comfort in it.

Baby bag- love this shit out of my ALF baby bag. Plus, it converts to a backpack. I also like to rub the fury bit and pretend it is my dog. (ok that was a peculiar thing to say)  

HelloFresh- I signed up for HelloFresh after the meals from family stopped coming (assholes). I had Rosie in peak winter and sometimes the idea of facing the shops in the freezing cold torrential rain with a newborn was pretty daunting so having everything I needed for a balanced meal helped me to relax. I still do hellofresh, I get the vego box and add meat if I fancy it, it sets me back $65 a week.

 Ergo carrier – also love this. When I was pregnant I saw a kid sitting in a Coles trolley sneeze into his hand, lick his palm and then smear it all over the trolley chair. I am not a germophob but hell no. I was not putting my angel face in that anytime soon. I wear my ergo when food shopping, hiking, day outings and when she is being a stage 5 clinger.

Family and Friends – End of the day, you can tick off every little item off every Pinterest list but what you need is support and a couple of pats on the back. All those little souls need is love and milk.

 thank you come again.

 

The Aftermath

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Firstly, let’s start with a collective sigh for all the people who offer you out of date, unwarranted advice from the moment you wipe the residue off your positive pregnancy test- yes nanna I am looking at you. Allow me to grab an imaginary feather duster and clean away those negative vibes. Yes, you will drink a hot coffee again, you will return to a relaxing bath and you will fit into your old jeans, so they can shove it up their jumper. Your life is not over.

Now that that’s out of the way we can continue. I spent my nine months of pregnancy preparing myself for birth and baby. I was researched and ready, but what really took me by surprise was the bullshit my body would experience the week after.

After you give birth you feel as though you have drunkenly rolled in a finger licking marinate and casually skipped into the lion enclosure at the zoo, only to be saved by the zoo keeper moments before you are completely ripped to shreds. EVERYTHING HURTS. You sit there with an icepack wedged between your legs, a newborn sucking from your bleeding cracked nipple, battling the pains of after birth while entertaining your neighbour’s sisters dog walker who’s popped in to meet the baby. 

Now, I am no doctor, vet, nurse or expert so the following tips come only from my experience and what worked for little old me which I have conveniently collated them into fancy titled sections.

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YOUR DARLING DOWNSTAIRS.

Please pause for a moment and credit this incredible piece of the female anatomy…. Ok.

After the trauma it/you go through you somehow forget how to shower. You stand like an 87-year-old grandma watching blood trickle down the drain as you cup water and gently splash it over your wound. I made myself a squirty bottle with water and the tiniest pinch of sea salt. After every trip to the loo I would spray my downstairs and pat the area dry. I also ditched the maternity pads pretty early, cos they’re just too much to handle and downgraded to regular ones.

The hospital should give you icepacks with corners that cut like a zooper doopers so I found these from Ice Ice Booby much better, bigger and stayed cooler for longer.

Every few nights I would have a shallow salt water bath (told you the baths weren’t a thing of the past).

BOOBIES/BREASTS/JUGS/FUNBAGs/TITTIES/THE GIRLS

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Your nipples may crack and perhaps bleed, but it doesn’t last long and breastfeeding gets easier.. well it did for me.  I used Multi-Mam Compresses which you can buy from the chemist. And an old wise midwife taught me to soak disposable nappies with water and then freeze them. I put these on after every feed; it was heaven on earth and I found it more soothing than the cabbage.

The morning my milk came in, my chin hit my boob. And if I didn’t think it would be reported I would share a photo of them. It was absolute painful insanity yet remarkable to look at nonetheless. The midwife took one look and said to me ‘oh honey you’re engorged’ and proceeded to milk me like a cow to release some of the pressure allowing Rosie to latch on. We sat together on the couch and chatted about the weather all while ignoring the fact she was jerking my nipples. Anyway, it does help. 

AFTER PAINS.

OMFG. Apparently not everyone experiences these, but good gravy  I sure did.  When you breastfeed your body releases oxytocin, the same hormone that is released in labor to contract the uterus.. soooo each time this hormone was swimming around I would have absolutely excruciating contractions. I would scream for Pat and he would drop to the floor and push an acupressure point in my foot to move my minds focus. I don’t really have any tips for this but wish I could give you a hug.

Coccyx bone

Due to Rosie being posterior and hefty in size I had a pretty sore and sorry coccyx bone. I didn’t have the time or energy to buy a donut pillow so I used a bath towel, rolled it like a snake and shaped it like a donut to sit on. Rosie is 7 weeks old and my coccyx is still causing me some grief.

Food

When people ask what they can bring tell them food; a quiche, lasagna, chips and gravy. You just gave birth, take their food and keep the tupperware it came in. You deserve it babe.

From belly, birth to baby the thing that had me shook was the healing process. Don’t be a pelican like me, take the time now to mentally prepare yourself and take the necessary steps to plan for an easier recovery. It doesn’t last long, the worst is over in a week, but it’s an unsightly surreal adventure to get there. Use your partner, your mum, your mate or your sister. Be selfish. They are there to help and let’s be honest, you left your dignity in the labor suite no point in acting posh now. Pat, bring me the krispy kremes, the maternity pads and double check whether I have hemorrhoids.

Lastly, the luxury of crisp clean sheets goes along way.

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